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I occasionally come across people who describe their programming tasks as tedious, which is often the sign of a design problem. One common source of tedium is pulling data from an external source. You almost always do the same thing with the data, but because the data differs each time, it's difficult to reduce such tedious programming. This Is when you should consider using metadata. To illustrate the approach, consider a simple design problem: build a module that will read data out of a simple file format into memory. One example of this file is a tab-delimited format with the first line containing the names of the fields.